Piston systems for commercial vehicles

The commercial vehicle segment is fundamentally very sensitive to costs. A fleet operator for long-distance hauling bases purchasing decisions on transportation efficiency. Besides the vehicle price, ongoing operating costs play a decisive role, fuel consumption being the most crucial.

Piston systems and their components

High-performance pistons for commercial vehicles

Aluminum pistons

Our piston range for commercial vehicle engines includes optimized aluminum pistons for highest demands. The pistons are made of cast, high temperature-resistant aluminum-silicon alloys. These alloys and the fine-tuned casting technology make it possible for MAHLE pistons to ideally combine low weight and high structural rigidity. The products withstand peak cylinder pressures of more than 200 bar. If properly combined with other components, they ensure a service life of more than one million kilometers for commercial vehicles.

Steel pistons

They became necessary because manufacturers wanted to fulfill the various stages of emissions legislation with measures inside the engine for as long as possible while power density levels increased. Consequently, peak cylinder pressures of over 220 bar can sometimes act on the piston, making high-strength steel designs inevitable. MAHLE has developed four different steel piston concepts for these applications to date, the newest member of the family being the friction-welded MonoWeld® piston. In the future, new manufacturing methods such as the beam-based welding process recently developed by MAHLE will open up new degrees of freedom in manufacturing, especially in order to further reduce the compression height of pistons.

Power Cell Unit (PCU)

1.2 million kilometers and no wear

With the power cell unit—consisting of the piston with rings and pin, cylinder liner, and connecting rod with bearing shells—MAHLE offers a system that brings the customer commercial and logistical advantages due to its simpler assembly and optimally coordinated design.

What does a commercial vehicle Power Cell Unit (PCU) need to achieve over its lifespan?

Service life of 1.6 million kilometers—this is the standard that today’s commercial vehicle engines must meet. That is why MAHLE took a sample and analyzed the PCUs from a randomly selected long-haul truck. The result, after 1.2 million kilometers: almost no wear!

But what exactly does 1.2 million kilometers mean for a commercial vehicle PCU:

  • 1,200,000,000 crankshaft revolutions
  • 600,000,000 ignition cycles per piston
  • The piston traveled 370,000 kilometers inside the cylinder liner
  • 68,000 liters of fuel were burned per cylinder
  • 5.8 million liters of oil cooled the pistons

MAHLE components therefore easily meet the required service life of 1.6 million kilometers.